If you are preparing to get your licence you first need to pass the Vicroads hazard perception test. In this article our Werribee driving instructor explains how you can practice and be better prepared for the test
The hazard perception test is a computer based video assessment that you take at a Vicroads office. It tests your ability as a driver to notice dangerous situations as they are developing and to react within an appropriate time. As part of the process of getting your licence in Victoria you are required to pass the hazard test before you can attempt the on-road assessment. To increase your likelihood of passing it is important you obtain appropriate driving experience to improve your hazard perception skills. It is also helpful to understand how the testing process works. Starting with your very first driving lessons your instructor will help you develop an overall hazard awareness. Regular driving in a variety of conditions will also improve your ability to notice developing situations. During your driving test practice lessons your instructor will continue to look for ways to improve your hazard perception and situation awareness.
Overview of the Hazard Perception Test
The Vicroads Hazard Perception Test was introduced to the licensing process in 1996 to add an extra level of assessment to new drivers. While there may be some debate over its validity and effectiveness it does provide a way for Vicroads to identify new drivers who need more exposure to challenging driving situations so they are better prepared for independent solo driving.
What is a hazard?
A hazard is anything that is dangerous and could cause harm or damage. Generally a hazard in driving is anything that will increase the likelihood of a crash. Often when you encounter a hazard you will adjust your driving to avoid a collision. Depending on the hazard you may need to:
Slow down or stop
Remain stationary or
Hazards come in many forms including other road users, stationary objects or driving conditions.
Some common driving hazards
Other vehicles and pedestrians
Moving into your intended path
Slowing or stopping in front of you
Parked or broken down cars
Reduced visibility makes it more difficult to identify hazards
Obstructions such as parked cars
Bends in the road
Weather conditions including fog, rain or sun glare
Traffic in adjacent lanes
Different road surfaces can also affect your ability to control the car
Wet or slippery roads from rain or mud
Pot holes or damaged road surface
What is Hazard Perception?
With lots of practice and experience in a wide variety of traffic conditions our ability to detect hazards improves and allows us to safely adjust our driving to avoid a collision. This is called hazard perception. Hazard perception skills develop over time. As a new driver you may not always recognise hazards straight away or it may take longer to interpret the hazard and react safely. The more you are exposed to hazardous situations the better you are able to identify and manage potential hazards. This is why newer drivers are at a higher risk of being involved in a collision than more experienced drivers who are often more aware of changes in their driving environment. Whilst hazard perception skills will improve with exposure to challenging situations, you can increase your ability to detect and react to hazards by implementing a few tasks in your everyday driving.
Adjust your speed to suit the conditions
Leave space all around your car
Scan well ahead and to the sides
Actively look for places where hazards may appear from
Try to have options available if something unexpected happens
Continue scanning for extra hazards while you negotiate the current ones
What is the Hazard Perception Test?
The hazard perception test is made up of 28 short videos from a driver’s point of view. Each video lasts around 30 seconds and requires you to click a mouse button when you think a certain task should be performed. In some cases it may not be safe to perform the task at all so not clicking the mouse would be the correct response. Examples of these tasks include:
When you should slow down
Moving off from a stopped position
When it is safe to overtake
When it is safe to start a turn
Take no action
The purpose of the test is to see if you can identify potential hazards and can take the appropriate actions to avoid creating a dangerous situation. To take the test you must be at least 17 years and 11 months old and either have a learners permit or passed the learners knowledge test if you are an overseas licence holder. By correctly responding to at least 16 of the videos you will pass the hazard test. You have 12 months to pass your driving test after successfully completing the hazard test otherwise you will be required to pass the hazard test again before attempting the drive test. To book an appointment for your hazard test you can:
- Use the Vicroads online booking service (only if you hold a Victorian learners permit)
- Call Vicroads on 131171
- Visit a Vicroads Customer Service Centre
Payment must be made at the time of booking an appointment and can be made by cash, EFTPOS or credit card if done at a Vicroads office. Only Mastercard or Visa is accepted for online and phone bookings.
How can you get ready for your Hazard Perception Test?
With plenty of exposure to a variety of driving conditions the hazard perception test is not too difficult to pass. If you are learning to drive in Point Cook, Werribee or nearby suburbs our training will assist in developing skills to help with the HPT.
To be better prepared it is worth doing some practice examples so you know what to expect. As of mid 2020 Vicroads have updated their hazards test using computer generated animated videos and now have their own online practice hazard test available. Also, the Victorian government offers the Drive Smart website to assist with educating new drivers but is is very general in its content. As part of our commitment to providing access to a range of training materials for our western suburbs driving school customers we have a convenient link to a free practice hazard tests.
Formerly the only available hazards test practice was provided by the “MyLicence” website and is very similar to the previous Hazard Perception Test used for Victorian licensing. MyLicence is the SA government website providing information for licensing and road safety similar to Vicroads in our state. Using both the South Australian and Victorian hazard perception test will not only provide some variety in HPT practice but can also assist with preparing you for some of the hazards you may encounter whilst driving.
Vicroads Online Hazard Perception Test Practice
South Australia Online Hazard Perception Test Practice
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If you are getting ready for your hazard test and this information has been helpful you may find our other articles useful as you get closer to solo driving.
For our new drivers under the age of 21 who are required to complete 120 hours of driving be sure to read our guide to avoiding logbook mistakes.
If you would like to know a bit more about how the practical assessment will be conducted we provide access to the Drive Test Criteria to assist with your preparation.
And remember we are waiting to hear from you to give you the best training to get your licence in Werribee, Hoppers Crossing, Point Cook and surrounding suburbs. Contact us today and let us help take the stress out of your driving practice.
Eclipse Driver Training helps drivers throughout the western suburbs improve their skills in readiness for solo driving and licence assessments.